PC Components, Peripherals And Gadget Reviews And News

Dig into our deep-dive product reviews and news of PC components from processors, to motherboards, graphics cards (GPUs), sound cards, and storage, along with other gadgets and peripherals that complete the computing experience. Whether you're a DIY PC enthusiast builder or just looking to read-up on what should be inside or connected to your next pre-built PC, here's where you'll find all the nuts and bolts sorted on what makes modern computer systems tick, as well some of the best user interface devices to go with them.

While the average PC enthusiast may gawk endlessly over pages of reviews of high-end power-hungry graphics cards, jaw-slackened by the frame rates and 3DMark score that he or she might find there, at the end of the month it is the low to mid-range card that is purchased most often than not.  Price typically comes into consideration, but... Read more...
With recent price cuts to current generation Radeon HD 3800 series cards, due to increased competition from new mainstream graphics cards from NVIDIA, there is a large gap in ATI's product stack between the sub-$200 Radeon HD 3870 and the now roughly $400 Radeon HD 3870 X2.  Until AMD readies a new batch of GPUs to fill this hole in their... Read more...
Like high-end graphics cards setup in multi-GPU configurations, terabyte desktop drives, and 3GHz quad-core processors, 30-inch wide screen LCDs cater to what we like to call the "enthusiast" niche.  And though this niche obviously drives lower volume demand versus the mainstream, you have to remember that the enthusiast end-user... Read more...
   While doing research for this review, we realized that we had to go back nearly three years - an eternity in the PC industry - to find the last HotHardware article on optical drives.  For a comparative look at technologies, back then we were using single core Pentium 4s in Intel 865/875 boards, GeForce... Read more...
Just prior to the Radeon HD 2000 series' introduction, numerous rumors circulated regarding an ultra-high clocked ATI R600-based video card, that featured a large 1GB frame buffer.  Some went so far as to say the GPU would be clocked at or near 1GHz.  Spy shots even cropped up on the web showing the card in all its glory.  But sometime between... Read more...
We're in the early stages of a major transition in the PC arena, much like in 2004 when Intel launched their first core logic chipset with support for DDR2 memory.  This time around, however, Intel is pushing DDR3 memory with their current crop of desktop chipsets. When DDR2 memory first hit the scene, we recommended users to tread... Read more...
While they are still not known as a tier 1 player in the motherboard market, on par with the likes of MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte, DFI is a still a highly regarded name in many circles. DFI is one of the few companies in the market which are genuinely in tune with what overclockers and enthusiasts are interested in. Their LANParty series in particular... Read more...
  Last year, we had the pleasure of taking a look at Dell's flagship Inspiron XPS M1710 notebook. Taking into account the top-notch components, excellent build quality, and best-of-class performance, we awarded the system our coveted Editor's Choice award.  Dell has since returned to market with a minor refresh of the... Read more...
When you think of the "ultimate computer upgrade", visions of powerful graphics cards, a blistering fast CPU, a spacious-high density hard drive or perhaps another Gig or two of memory to feed your ever-hungry OS might come to mind.  On the surface, these are all very reasonable options, and depending on your specific usage... Read more...
  This year's DigitalLife show in New York City seemed to be just a bit more festive, a bit more "real-deal", or perhaps we should just say a bit more well-attended from both an exhibitor and audience perspective?  In fact, since Ziff Davis picked up the gig, it has turned out to be like a mini-CES here on the east... Read more...
DFI has earned a reputation over the last couple of years for producing feature-rich, enthusiast friendly motherboards.  DFI's decked out LANPARTY family of motherboards in particular has become known to many around the world as a family of products that cater to the unique needs of the enthusiast and overclocking... Read more...
For almost a year now, NVIDIA has been teasing enthusiasts with their Quad-SLI technology. It was back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show that we got our first glimpse of a Quad-SLI based system, the Dell XP 600 Renegade.  That first Quad-SLI implementation consisted of four GeForce 7800 GTX GPUs, each coupled to 512MB of... Read more...
              When we last took a look at some DDR2 memory back in October of 2004, the technology was still a bit new and didn't seem to offer any tangible performance benefits over standard DDR RAM.  Higher speeds could be obtained with DDR2 though, and these modules required... Read more...
The ability to manipulate and access various types of video and audio media has become a big part of the computer life-style. What used to be reserved for those with money to spend on expensive devices and powerful computers, is now available to just about anyone with a PCI slot. Thanks to the interest in these kinds of devices, the market... Read more...
  It used to be the case that the fastest optical drive was, by default, the best. Reducing CD burn times from 12 minutes to eight and then to six was considered significant evolutionary progress. But then a barrier was encountered, where the imperfect nature of mass-produced compact discs precluded, or at least made it much more difficult,... Read more...
Over the past year, DFI has made a name for itself with a crowd that is traditionally very hard to please.  A company that once built parts strictly for the OEM / white box folks, is now catering to the enthusiast and overclocking communities with a bold, feature laden line of motherboards.  DFI's "LANPARTY" products build... Read more...
              With the launch of their 900 series chipsets, and LGA775 based Pentium 4 processors, Intel introduced the use of DDR2 system memory on the desktop.  DDR1 system memory had been the standard for quite a few years, and DDR2 memory had been used on the occasional... Read more...
  Back when I was first stepping into the world of PC hardware, Diamond was quite a contender in the PC enthusiast market.  Historically known for their high-end "Viper" graphics product line-up, Diamond's name still strikes home with many a gamer. Unfortunately, back in 2001, Diamond withdrew themselves from the graphics... Read more...
DFI LANParty NFII Ultra B vs. ABIT AN7 The Clash of the nForce2 Ultra's By: Tom Laverriere February 29, 2004       Fast, stable, feature-rich and affordable, these are just some of the words we have chosen historically, when speaking about NVIDIA's nForce2 chipset.  Over the past year we have seen quite a... Read more...
Diamond Multimedia's Stealth S80 A legend returns to the graphics market By Robert Maloney February 15th,  2003 Many seasoned PC enthusiasts fondly recall being the first on the block to have a high-powered Diamond Viper card in their rig, and boasting about it to their friends.  Back then, Diamond and performance were nearly synonymous... Read more...
  DFI Infinity 865PE Motherboard Review DFI's Latest Intel Offering By: Jeff Bouton November 6th, 2003 Historically, DFI has focused more on developing basic motherboards strong on functionality and stability, leaving the flashy presentations and excessive bundles to motherboard manufacturers that cater to the enthusiast set.  But... Read more...
  DFI LANParty nForce2 Ultra Looks and Performance That Can Kill By, Tom Laverriere September 1, 2003 Routine, to some people, is perfectly acceptable.  Knowing what's going to happen at certain times of the day, every single day, is what puts them at ease.  Others believe change is good.  They're always trying to find... Read more...
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